“The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined,” according to statistics released by the IASP.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of World Suicide Prevention Day. For the past ten years, the International Association for Suicide Prevention along with many other organizations, have dedicated their time and work to educating others on this topic, in hopes of saving lives and preventing the numbers from rising.
The World Health Organization estimates that nearly one million people worldwide die by suicide each year; over the span of a year, that amounts to one death every 40 seconds. It is also one of the leading causes of death among young people. Suicide is estimated to be under-reported for many reasons, one of them including the stigma surrounding the topic in societies across the world.
Suicide is preventable. In many cases, those who take their own lives have never sought out medical help or shared their feelings with family or friends. Many people who commit suicide have attempted before.
The effects that suicide has on family and friends of the loved one are immeasurable and can have detrimental effects on those left behind. Today, I ask you to reach out to someone. Tell them how much they mean to you, be willing to open up your eyes and listen to what people around you are telling you.
Tonight, at 8 pm, I ask you to light a candle near a window in your home, apartment, or bedroom. This candle signifies your support of suicide prevention. It also honors surivors of suicide and is a way to remember those who have lost their lives to suicide.
Today is simply one day out of the year to show your support. Speak up. Open up. Save a life.